Mohammad Sanju establishes the early lead at Vizag Open 2023
The overnight rain could not play dampener to the opening round of the Vizag Open 2023 as PGTI’s first ever event at the magnificent East Point Golf Club (EPGC) in Visakhapatnam had a delayed start on Wednesday but the exciting golf on display set the tone for the rest of the week.
Kolkata’s Mohammad Sanju established the early lead with an exhilarating six-under 66 at the Rs. 1 crore event. Sanju was the clubhouse leader as the first round was yet to be completed with play being called off at 6 pm local time due to fading light. Six players out of a total of 126 are yet to finish round one and will resume play at 6:45 am on Thursday.
Four players were bunched in tied second at 67 including the Chandigarh trio of Harendra Gupta, Akshay Sharma and Rajiv Kumar Jatiwal and Ahmedabad’s Anshul Patel.
The heavy overnight rain delayed the start by 45 minutes on Wednesday as play began at 7:30 am local time. The conditions were overcast and there was a light drizzle through the day.
Mohammad Sanju, not having the best of seasons with just one top-10 in the year, had a field day making four birdies and an eagle to take the early advantage. Sanju made a 16-feet eagle conversion on the 12th hole and also sank a 20-footer and a 12-footer for birdies on the 10th and 17th respectively.
The 41-year-old Sanju said, “It was a pleasure playing at EPGC for the first time. This course has a fantastic layout and is quite challenging with the narrow fairways and the thick rough on both sides. This track rewards accuracy off the tees.
“I could score low because I struck it well with my driver and irons today. I missed just four greens. The drizzle through the day meant one had to adapt accordingly as the course was playing one club longer. This start does my confidence a lot of good as I played well in tough conditions at a new course.”
Among the six players yet to complete round one, Delhi’s Saarthak Chhibber was well-placed as he had a score of four-under through 15 holes.
PGTI Order of Merit leader Om Prakash Chouhan returned a 69. Sunhit Bishnoi also fired a 69 on day one while Harshjeet Singh Sethie shot a 73.
Among the Visakhapatnam-based players, Rahman Mehboob Shorif was the best-placed with a 76.
Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the recognised official body of professional golf in India. PGTI's objective is to promote professional golf in the country, as well as to give players an opportunity to be involved in the decision making on all aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Srinivasan H R (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.
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